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what a stupid thing to do

(19 Posts)
ashamedandconfused Thu 30-Dec-10 12:34:06

who in their right mind takes in a stray dog, when they have children, no doubt overexcited and boisterous because of christmas

glad it was not more serious

idiot parents though

HuwEdwards Thu 30-Dec-10 12:38:52

the dog had appalling injuries to they took pity on it - AND had it checked over by a vet.

Read the article - there was no over excitement, they were all quietly watching tv.

A dreadful accident and thank god it wasn't a worse outcome.

nannynobblystockingnobs Thu 30-Dec-10 12:39:43

It says that the poor dog had split paws and a frostbitten face! Why didn't they take it to the vets!

nannynobblystockingnobs Thu 30-Dec-10 12:40:50

They did... I'll shut my face. I still wouldn't have a strange dog with unknown personality recuperating from injury in my house

ditavonteesed Thu 30-Dec-10 12:42:27

pooir dog, poor kid, sad sad story. sad

IAmReallyFabNow Thu 30-Dec-10 12:44:01

They did take it to the vets.

GrimmaTheNome Thu 30-Dec-10 12:44:09

Put the blame where it belongs, with whoever dumped the dog in the first place angrysad

thumbplumpuddingwitch Thu 30-Dec-10 12:44:13

It says that they had the dog checked over by a vet.

The council don't appear to be on the ball either - they say that stray dogs should be handed in, so that they can be checked for ID tags - of which this dog had none, because he was checked.

Anyway - shocking thing to happen - wonder what on earth triggered the dog to attack for no apparent reason? Poor boy though.

thenightsky Thu 30-Dec-10 12:49:16

Who on earth would abandon a dog out in this awful weather?? shock If they didn't want the animal surely they could have taken it to a resuce place.

Are those Shar Pei dogs mega valuable anyway? I wonder if it had been stolen and lost or dumped by the thieves.

What an awful story though. Poor boy. sad

cornsilkcornedbeefhash Thu 30-Dec-10 12:56:22

poor boy and poor dog sad The family did a kind thing. What a nasty OP.

TheMonster Thu 30-Dec-10 12:59:00

Yes they are valuable. What an awful story. Poor dog, and por, poor boy and family. They were only trying to do a good deed.

VallhalaLalalalalalalalaaaaaa Thu 30-Dec-10 13:04:57

Well said Grimma.

In answer to the OP, I have done so many times and will continue to do so. Like any other situation, there are far more unreported non-events than there are ever sad tales like this.

thenightsky - "If they didn't want the animal surely they could have taken it to a resuce place." is a common misconception. The RSPCA do not take in strays and 99% of rescue is full at this time of year. The idea that you can just turn up at rescue with a dog and leave it there, that they have space, is largely a fallacy.

Abandonment - the Midlands has a high rate of dog abandonment and a far higher than average rate of proven dogfighting. It's possible this one was used for fighting or as bait. Not definite, just possible ime. Such dogs are often abandoned, as are stolen dogs when they are discovered to be "too hot to handle" through lots of publicity or unable to be bred from.

The places where the blame should really be apportioned are at the feet of the last Government and of Wolverhampton City Council.

Wolverhampton City Council have submitted a press release on the matter. They stated that anyone who finds a stray dog should report it to the local council which is responsible for animal welfare and which has specially trained dog teams to deal with strays safely. This, however, is only true up to a point and it is in the interests of the public for this to be reported more acurately.

In mid 2008 the law on stray dogs changed. From that point the Police had no responsibility for stray dogs, save those covered by the Dangerous Dogs Act. Until this time the public could take a stray dog to their nearest Police station where he would be kennelled and then transferred to the designated dog pound if not reunited with his owner. His owner would be able to locate him because a lost or found dog would be recorded by the Police. The change in law in April 2008 meant that dogs became the only type of property that the Police have no duty to record as lost or found and that all stray dogs became the responsibility of local councils.

The Government allocated a sum of money to each council for this added responsibility. However, it was far less than the Police had proved necessary to carry out the task ten years previously. It also wasn't ringfenced and so councils spent the money as they pleased, which wasn't necessarily on stray dogs. There is no legal requirement whatsoever for councils to provide an out of hours Dog Warden service and only "guidance" that acceptance points are created where the public can take stray dogs if they are found out of the council's normal operating hours. These are called "Acceptance Points". Acceptance points, if they exist at all, are often no more than one place per council area and of course for many people, such as those without transport, those with children/carer commitments and no support, those who are ill/infirm, the acceptance point will be impossible to access.

Where there is no out of hours Dog Warden service the finder of a stray has a moral dilemma. They must take he dog to the acceptance point or if they cannot or will not do that they must either house the dog themselves or turn him back out into the street to await his fate, possibly in the cold and probably amongst the traffic. This latter of course could - and should - be considered a breach of the Animal Welfare Act, as should council recommendation to "put him back out on the street" when asked what to do with an out of hours found stray. I have been told by members of the public in more than one county that this has been their council's advice to them.

Wolverhampton City Council, for all it's claims of having experts who can deal with strays, is conveniently ommitting to mention one thing. They have no out of hours Dog Warden service.

Their website states;

"If you have found a stray dog, and believe it to be safe, between 4pm and 8am, Monday to Friday and at any time on a weekend and bank holidays, you can either:

* secure the dog until the next working day, when you can contact us on 01902 551155. A dog warden will then be sent to collect the dog.

or

* take the dog to St. George's Veterinary Surgery. Members of the public must telephone the surgery before taking the dog there."

Clearly the family which had the heart to take in a shivering Shar Pei believed him to be safe. Shar Pei were used for many purposes traditionally and are now quite popular family pets - there would have been no reason for them to think otherwise, although as a rescuer I know all too well that there is a reaonable chance that a pedigree found straying is not a lost pet but an abused, perhaps stolen dog. It is possible, particularly given the area this one was found in, that this dog had been abused and/or used for fighting or as bait for fighting dogs. Sadly the Midlands has more than it's share of this wicked practice. Although an abused dog is not automatically an aggressive dog and although rehabilitation of abused and/or aggressive dogs is perfectly possible there is an increased risk of a dog which has been harmed or used to fight being aggressive - but this family didn't know this, they are not experts and just acted out of kindness.

The "experts" are supposed to be within Wolverhampton City Council - though I'd be interested to know how many of them they employ as most councils have just one Dog Warden, some two, and some Dog Wardens are merely part-time, splitting their duties with other Environmental Health positions, such as Pest Controller. The few councils who do employ out of hours Dog Wardens frequently use contractors without the level of training or experience of a full time council employed Dog Warden. The "experts", i.e. the Dog Warden/s for Wolverhampton CC, don't work after 4pm or before 8am and don't work at weekends or Bank Holidays - which leads me to wonder when the family took the Shar Pei in and whether the "experts" were available at the time.

Until the laws are revised or at least until councils take serious, full time responsibility for stray dogs, this will not be the last such incident. There will however be as a result of this more stray dogs roaming the streets, at risk of causing traffic accidents, starving and freezing to death this winter. If the dog is a danger there will be a greater risk to the public whilst councils continue to neglect to have a round the clock dog warden service. This incident won't stop me from taking home any stray I find but it will stop many people.

Please will you raise this matter with Wolverhampton City Council and the wider public as most people are unaware that the Police no longer take in strays or that the Dog Warden service has limited hours. Most of the public appear to be, in my experience as an independent rescuer, unaware that the RSPCA and similar charities will not take in strays from the public either. I'd be interested for you to investigate when the dog was found - press reports state that the lad was injured on Christmas day, which indicates that my suspicions may well be correct and that there was no Dog Warden working when the dog was found. It is entirely possible of course that the O'Mahoney family opted to keep the dog in their home rather than take him to the acceptance point although they might have been able to do so. However, had a Dog Warden been available, they might not have made that decision but handed the care of the dog over to the experts.

Perhaps this is a case of, for the sake of saving money, a child has been badly scarred and a dog is dead. Definitely if this is not the case on this occasion, it has been in the past and, until all councils provide a full, experienced and dedicated 24 hour Dog Warden service or the 2008 legislation is revoked, it will be again.

VallhalaLalalalalalalalaaaaaa Thu 30-Dec-10 13:13:20

Apologies - the request that this is investigated was made to journalist contacts and the remarks above copied from my email to them, which I wrote earlier today.

Double apologies for the repetition of "Acceptance points2!

Toughasoldboots Thu 30-Dec-10 13:14:56

Brilliant post val. Very sad story all round.

KalokiMallow Thu 30-Dec-10 14:04:45

I'd take in a stray dog too. They couldn't have known it was going to happen, and I imagine there are a lot of stray dogs taken in where nothing like this ever happens. It's a very unfortunate case, and I hope the boy is ok, and the dog.

VallhalaLalalalalalalalaaaaaa Thu 30-Dec-10 14:16:34

Kaloki, the lad is recovering. The dog is dead.

Well done Wolverthampton City Council, well done Blair and Co. angry

KalokiMallow Thu 30-Dec-10 14:18:45

BeerTricksPotter Thu 30-Dec-10 14:21:00

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

norfolkBRONZEturkey Thu 30-Dec-10 14:33:20

I would take it in too but it would be in kept away from the children and other animals.
Hope the boy is ok and I hope this doesn't prevent him and his families love of dogs and obvious care of those less fortunate

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